Dux Raymond Sy – Sharepoint for Project Management
What is your background, technologically speaking?
I have a degree in Telecommunications Engineering and my first foray into IT was actually programming Motorola chips in Assembly programming language. I later evolved and have worked with higher-level programming languages such as Basic, Pascal, C++. In the mid-90’s, as the world wide web started to gain commercial adoption, I got heavily involved with developing web applications with tools ranging from open source solutions to microsoft-based technologies.
In the late 90’s, I focused on the collaborative aspect of the web by building community-driven websites. I came across SharePoint right around 2001 when I was investigating viable platforms for collaboration.
Where do you work now? What do you do?
I am the managing partner of Innovative-e. Innovative-e is a business technology consulting and services company that helps clients gain competitive advantage by transforming high-performance strategies in to reality. Services include consulting, project management, application development, training and systems integration with specialized expertise in Project Management Information System (PMIS) capabilities using Microsoft SharePoint technologies. Clients range from startups to the Global 50, including Siemens (E&A), Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Gold Center, BlueLinx, Learning Tree, NASA and Morgan Franklin. Innovative-e is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in D.C. and Central Florida and technology delivery centers in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
My role is primarily focused on business development and evangelizing how to leverage the benefits of SharePoint in organizations.
How did you get into Sharepoint? What’s so good about it? Who should use it? Under what circumstances is it the right solution?
It was late 2001, I was working on a Web development project with a geographically dispersed project team. Just like most project teams back then (even today for that matter), e-mail was the primary tool we used to collaborate and share project information. As we all know, this is not the most efficient nor effective way. While researching, I came across SharePoint Team Services (STS). It was a a free add-on to Office 2000 called SharePoint Team Services (STS) that provided Web-based team collaboration features. It wasn’t the silver bullet that I was looking for but it was easy to use, specially for the less technical individuals in my project team. It provided the central repository that we needed to store project files.
Three years later, one of my government clients found out that I was using SharePoint on a regular basis (at this point I was using Windows SharePoint Services 2.0), so they engaged me to develop a customized hands-on, in-house training program on implementing, maintaining and using SharePoint Portal Server 2003. This opportunity further piqued my interest in SharePoint and, more importantly, I saw the potential in how this tool can address various business challenges.
The key benefit of SharePoint is that it empowers users to build collaborative solutions themselves with minimal assistance from IT. For example, in a project environment, traditionally, a project manager would need to ask the IT department to build a website for project collaboration. Now, depending on how busy IT is, or how important the project is, the request my take awhile. Whereas with SharePoint, as long as IT has established the basic configuration, a project manager can create and maintain the project website themselves.
Now, the intent of SharePoint is to be used for enhanced team collaboration and effective document management. If you have no intent of using it for these purposes, then SharePoint is not the solution.
Yes. SharePoint for Project Management is my first published book. I was too idealistic when I first signed up thinking that I can finish writing the book in no time since the topic is near and dear to me. I was wrong, so much for being a project manager. Throughout the process of writing, I made sure that that the content is practical and applicable to folks involved in managing projects who would want to utilize SharePoint to support them.
How often do you get over to this side of the Atlantic? Do you speak/teach in Europe/UK, and how would people find out about your engagements?
I frequent UK at least twice a year because I conduct training for Learning Tree International which has presence in London as well (http://www.learningtree.co.uk). In a training environment, I find that Europeans are less prone to ask questions and relatively reserved compared to their American counterparts. I don’t know why this is …